Operation Seek and Save, the initiative to find COVID-19-positive and at-risk people in communities across the island, has been successful, the programme’s coordinator declared on the eve of its end.
Dr Dion Greenidge said that by Saturday evening it would have achieved its goal of reaching close to every household in Barbados, if not all.
Operation Seek and Save is being conducted by the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the University of the West Indies (UWI).
Dr Greenidge, the head of the Department of Management Studies at UWI Cave Hill, told Barbados TODAY that so far 80,528 households had been reached up to end of Friday, the penultimate day.
He estimated that figure to be around two-thirds of their target.
But Dr Greenidge pointed out the UWI was not responsible for the “medical side” of the initiative and he would not be able to give details of the number of rapid antigen and PCR tests conducted or the number of positive cases identified.
With the 18-day operation set to finish Saturday, Dr Greenidge said he was satisfied with what had been achieved in the “short space of time”.
He told Barbados TODAY: “We’re hoping that by tomorrow evening, anytime around 4 p.m. we should be wrapping up. I believe that by that time we would have gone into every district. I know there are some persons who have called to say that they haven’t been reached and we have teams assigned to them because we want to make sure that we cover everyone.
“I think that by tomorrow evening we would have been able to cover a very significant number of households in Barbados…I’m confident we will reach our target. We would have done a good job given the very short time for which we had to get on the ground and get this going.”
Dr Greenidge said the programme, which also sought to identify dengue fever hotspots, would provide Government with invaluable information.
“I would consider it to be a success because we were able to find persons who were in need of assistance,” Dr Greenidge said. “We dealt with two areas; COVID and dengue, so we were able to identify the risk factors as it relates to COVID, if there were any environmental factors in a particular area that are in need of a follow up, so there is good information, there is quality information and data that I’m sure the Government is intending to use to make a second intervention as it relates to COVID, dengue and some other information as well.”
He praised Barbadians for participating in the programme despite early apprehensions.
Dr Greenidge said while there was not 100 per cent participation, most people took part in the survey.
“I think that while there was some noise in the beginning, persons wanted to be interviewed. I would say that the level of participation is really good because of the fact that a number of our students have been very professional. Everybody didn’t complete the questionnaire but the vast majority of Barbadians gave the information and wanted to participate and I think that’s what made it a success,” Dr Greenidge said.